Alleviating pain points within the shopping journey.
COVID-19 has affected shoppers’ consumption choices and behaviors for the foreseeable future. Hiba Jaber, Founder and Creative Director of Dubai-based Hiba Jaber Jewelry, was quick to adapt her brand’s offerings in order to better convenience her customers and accommodate their changing needs.
About Hiba Jaber Jewelry
Launched in 2017 and based in Dubai, Hiba Jaber is a contemporary fine jewelry brand for the modern, independent woman. Individual stories are at the heart of Hiba Jaber Jewelry with a belief that true value is expressed within a customized piece. Each creation is a reflection of a collaborative process between the designer and the wearer and is as unique as the woman who wears it. The brand offers both custom-made creations as well as ready collections and delivers locally as well as internationally.
Hiba Jaber Jewelry is created using 18k gold and set with precious stones. Once each sketch is initiated, it goes through a simple and straightforward process that can take between two to four weeks until it reaches its final stages of realization. Once the design is finalized, it is brought to life by highly skilled artisans in Dubai. Ready-made collections can be delivered between one to four days and are also available with customizable options that include color of gold and diamond setting details; always letting the customer be part of the design process. With each step, the jewels are designed, produced and delivered with personalization in mind.
The brand is now based out of D3, part of the In5 start up community where customer can book their special appointments for a special personalized experience with the designer herself.
The contemporary fine jewelry brand in Dubai is best known for its signature designs that show combinations of two or more letters that reflect special stories. Merging between the sentimental aspect of design along with the luxury element of fine jewelry, the recently turned three-year-old brand offers creations that are ideal for making precious occasions even more special. Since the recent COVID-19 developments, the brand has taken several protocols to help its customers.
COVID-19 has shifted shoppers’ abilities to purchase under normal circumstances, so Jaber aims to lessen financial burdens for her customers during these sensitive times. By officially partnering with Tabby, the region’s leading Buy Now, Pay later platform in KSA and UAE, the brand supports customers to pay for their shopping baskets in stages instead of all at once, making Hiba Jaber Jewelry the first emerging brand in the region to offer such a service. Further to alleviate any hesitations, the brand launched a Try Before You Buy service, whereby interested customers in Dubai receive pieces to try on at home before making the actual purchase.
Hear from the founder, Hiba, below on her mission to provide a personalized product and service starting from the initial design to the final output.
1. Briefly tell us about Hiba Jaber Jewelry (HJ), how, why and when you launched.
Launched in 2017, Hiba Jaber Jewelry is a fine contemporary jewelry brand for the modern independent woman. We turn special stories into precious stories and are mostly known for stories that present a combination of two or more letters.
I always wanted to have my own brand, so all my studies and work experiences led me to start this brand. In early 2014, I started experimenting with designing jewelry for friends’ birthdays and special occasions. First I designed a ring for a close friend, and then I designed a jewelry piece for a friend who was getting married with his and her letters together. Other friends saw that piece and wanted one of their own, that was the starting point for the concept of the brand.
2. Customers’ emotions are a large part of what drive your designs. Tell us more about that.
Our main motto is “we turn your special stories into precious jewels” so when people work with us on their own designs, it’s always a reflection of their special story. The characters they choose to turn into jewels are always something that means something to them or the person they are gifting the jewel to. The characters are often like their family’s initials, the newborn initial with the parents, a memorable date or memory, it’s always special and we do our best to turn that story into a jewel that reflects their own taste and style.
3. Due to COVID-19, how have you seen people change the way they shop, or what they are actually shopping for? How does HJ cater to changing demand?
Our brand focuses a lot on gifting and we are already based online, so in a way lucky for us we didn’t see much difference in the way people shop, because even if they cut down on their own spending, people still wanted to get their gifts across to their close people. The main difference we felt was that we were delivering the gifts directly to the person being gifted, due to the lockdowns, so we just helped them make the experience a bit more special by offering personalized services like adding a special note on their behalf, and wrapping it nicely for a gift.
4. Do you consider yourself to operate via a customer-centric/customer-focused approach? How so?
Yes definitely, our brand itself is based on a customization concept, so we always design the characters and letters based on the customer’s choice, they choose the category, the characters, the color of gold and the diamond setting and we make them feel part of the process. We share with them the design and we only go ahead once they approve the design.
Also, our brand development has been very much led by customer demand. Our categories have been introduced based on customer requests, always keeping our brand aesthetic in mind.
5. In your opinion, how important is customer service in the customer’s purchase journey?
It is very important. Our brand is focused on customization and personalization every step of the way, from the design to the product to the way we talk to our customers, and we find that the customers appreciate that a lot. In a very fast paced industry, I feel customers got used to being dealt with in a very automated way, so when a brand really goes out of their way to talk to them in a very warm and friendly way, it really stands out. I always tell the team to talk to our customers as if they were our friends, and it goes a long way. You connect with the customers and you make them feel special, they will come back and tell their friends about your brand!
6. What advice do you have for current / aspiring entrepreneurs on creating a personalized product or service in this region?
Try to build something unique to stand out, know your customer and have a strong brand identity. It’s very important because if people love the product you’re offering, it will sell itself, and people will tell their people about it and that will help you grow! Listen to your customers, always make them the priority and stick to the identity of your brand, don’t try to be everything to everyone.
7. What is next in HJ’s future?
We have a few exciting things in the pipelines! We actually just got accepted into the In5 Startup incubator last month, which we are very excited about. This will be the ideal next step for our business as we will be able to extend our online experience to offline, where we can meet our customers and work with them on their unique stories in person! We are also in the process of growing the team and will be introducing some new categories within our customization range! Stay tuned.
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